The first EU-LAC Summit was held in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 1999. It is a bi-regional political consensus mechanism that includes the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean (33 countries of the region: Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bolivia; Brazil; Chile; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cuba; Dominica; Ecuador; El Salvador; Granada; Guatemala; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; México; Nicaragua; Panamá; Paraguay; Peru; Dominican Republic; San Kitts & Nevis; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Saint Lucia; Surinam; Trinidad & Tobago; Uruguay and Venezuela) and the European Union (its 27 members participate: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Portugal, United Kingdom, Sweden, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Cyprus, Malta, Hungary).
The aims of the EU-LAC Summit include fostering political, economic and cultural understanding between the two regions in order to develop a strategic partnership; contributing to the promotion of common objectives, such as the strengthening of representative and participatory democracy and individual freedom; the rule of law, good governance and pluralism; international peace and security; political stability and building confidence among nations; foster and develop a strategic association based on full observance of International Law and the aims and principles of the United Nations Charter, the principles of non-intervention, respect for sovereignty, equality among states and the self-determination of the peoples, all in a spirit of equality, alliance and cooperation.
The Summit includes a Structured Dialogue on Migration; a High Level Meeting of the Coordination and Cooperation Mechanism on Drugs between the European Union (EU) and the Caribbean (LAC) (Colombia serves as Co-Chair and was responsible for setting up the XIII Mechanism Meeting); the EU-LAC Foundation and the Latin America Investment Facility (LAIF).
The EU-LAC Summit takes place bi-annually. The last one was held in Madrid, Spain on May 18, 2010. The next one will take place in Chile, in May 2012.